According to the NBA Mark Warkentien has been named the 2008-09 NBA Executive of the Year. He received nine votes from an electorate comprised of the other 30 NBA general managers. Cleveland’s Danny Ferry was second with seven votes.
Warkentien released a statement on the award through the Nuggets.
“I proudly accept this award on behalf of Stan Kroenke and the entire Denver Nuggets organization,” Warkentien said. “This is a team honor that is a tribute to Mr. Kroenke’s leadership and vision for this season’s team. Our front office, coaching staff and players share equally in this award, and to be recognized by our peers throughout the league for our accomplishments during this special season is greatly appreciated and unexpected.”
Interestingly Rex Chapman also received a vote giving the Nuggets’ front office ten of the 30 votes. I wonder if Kevin McHale cast that vote as Chapman came to the Nuggets from the Timberwolves.
I could be wrong, but I do not remember a season where a team was able to shed as much payroll as the Nuggets did yet go on to have such tremendous success. It was less than a year ago that Nuggets fans were in an uproar about the Marcus Camby trade and Warkentien was widely mocked for his comment that running an NBA team is like playing chess as opposed to checkers. I think it is safe to say he has been vindicated.
Now is not the time to go over all the steps that were taken to get to where they are so I will conclude by offering my most sincere congratulations to Mark Warkentien and the rest of the Nuggets front office on a job well done and for this well deserved award.
A couple of notes on the award: The only other Nuggets executive to win the award was Vince Boryla in 1984-85 and before Danny Ainge won last season over the previous 11 seasons only one winner of the executive of the year award put together a championship team and that was Joe Dumars in 2002-03.